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Choose one of the following topics and write a 700-1000 word essay. You must use at least one primary source (poem, play, story itself) and two secondary sources (source about the work). The secondary sources should be critical from appropriate literary journals or books. I suggest that you use the databases that the library subscribes to in order to find these. Cite the sources with correct MLA in-text citations and include a Works Cited page.1. Analyze the Petrarchan tradition of love poetry. Discuss the use (and abuse) of Petrarchan conventions or conceits (love as a battle, love as a wound, love as a hunt, blazon, the beloved’s virtue, the beloved’s fair complexion and hair, identification with objects touched by the beloved, antithesis) by English poets. You may discuss the anti-Petrarchan sentiments that arise in the 1590s and later also. Or you may use Twelfth Night as an example of a writer making fun of the sentiments found in earlier works.2. In what ways do the idea of the court and the life of the courtier affect Renaissance English literature? Identify poems or works in which court life is represented or commented upon and explain how those texts reflect Renaissance attitudes toward court life.3. During the Renaissance, emphasis was placed upon man’s ability to do great things. He was seen as a rational being capable of learning much and contributing much to society. Discuss how some of the works that we have read reflect this popular Renaissance thought and the philosophy of Humanism.4. Compare/contrast More’s Utopia with dystopian literature popular today. Describe each society and then discuss the shortcomings of each. Is one preferable to the other?5. Analyze the role of women in the Renaissance period. Look at the expectations of what women were capable of achieving versus their role as wife, mother, and lover. Do you see any exceptions to the expectations in any of the literature?6. Compare/contrast the literature that we have read for the 16th century versus the readings for the Middle Ages. Do you see more differences or similarities? Do any concerns or themes carry over?7. Choose a theme we have discussed, such as nobility, young and old age, gender roles, love, and analyze it in
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